Every day we scan news headlines and social media for items of interest to the field of suicide prevention. Here’s what we found last week:

Ottawa groups present stirring choral tribute to bullied teen – CBC
May 31, 2019
Three local choirs in Ottawa, including Tone Cluster, “quite a queer choir,” are coming together to pay tribute to Tyler Clementi, who died by suicide at the age of 18 in 2010. Clementi was bullied and harassed for being gay. “He was a loving, gentle soul that was really like the peacekeeper in our home,” Jane Clementi said of her son. “He just had such a future, a bright future ahead of him that I just still shake my head. I can’t fathom that he doesn’t have it anymore.”

Netflix series 13 Reasons Why tied to more youth suicides, U.S. study suggestsCBC
May 29, 2019
Yet another study has found correlations between the release of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why series and an increase in youth suicides. In the three months after the series was initially released, Dr. Thomas Niederkrotenthaler of the Medical University of Vienna and his research team found that there were 94 more suicides than expected in the US among youth 10-19. The show has been criticized for glamourizing suicide. “We can’t prove that it’s 13 Reasons Why but 13 Reasons Why is the obvious candidate,” contributing to the increase, said study co-author Dr. Mark Sinyor, a psychiatrist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. “We expected in advance that there would be an increase in youth, and in particular young women because of the protagonist in the show, and what we saw was a sudden increase in suicides only in youth, not in older people, and in particular in young women.”

Australia’s male suicide epidemic is much worse than previously thought, new research shows News.com.au
May 29, 2019
Beyond Blue, a mental health organization in Australia, has released the world’s first study of ambulance call-outs to men experiencing acute mental health issues, self-harm and suicidal instances. The study found that there were 30,197 ambulance attendances for men who had attempted suicide or had suicidal thoughts between June 2015 and July 2016. Hospital emergency department presentation numbers indicate about 10,000 cases in the same period. “This research tells us that suicide-related presentations to our health services by men triple when measured by ambulance data rather than hospital data alone. It tells us that what we know about male suicide is just the tip of the iceberg,” Beyond Blue chair Julia Gillard said.

Bad economic news increases suicide rates – new research The Conversation UK
May 29, 2019
New research has found that there is a correlation between news of a bad economy and increasing suicide rates. In particular, researchers found their was a strong link between how people viewed their economic situation and the overall suicide rate. “Our findings suggest that consumer sentiment plays a significantly greater role in explaining variations in the suicide rate compared to traditional indicators such as income and employment figures. So it would make sense that constant negative announcements – such as high unemployment, rapidly rising prices, and increasing business failures – can have an impact on mental well-being,” say researchers. 

Farmers need more help with mental health issues, report findsCTV News
May 28, 2019
A report by an all-party parliamentary committee released last Tuesday made 10 recommendations to improve the mental health of those working in the agricultural industry, calling on the federal government to better support farmers who are struggling with their mental health. The MPs recommended public-awareness campaigns to deal with intimidation and cyberbullying threats faced by farmers, as well as ensuring any new policies introduced take into consideration the impact of the well-being of agricultural producers. “Issues of economic stress, weather, disaster, suicide have been part of our community’s existence for the last century,” said Conservative MP and committee member Earl Dreeshen, a fourth-generation farmer from Alberta. “The incidence of mental-health problems in the Canadian agricultural sector is reaching crisis proportions.”

Presenting the winners of the Smart Cities challengeConstruction Canada
May 28, 2019
Communities in Nunavut applied to the Smart Cities challenge, a challenge “to harness the potential of connected technology and data to improve the lives of all citizens.” They proposed a life promotion approach to suicide prevention, and were one of four winners, obtaining $10 million for implementation. Centre for Suicide Prevention sat on the advisory committee for this proposal. 

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